Everyone’s Already Talking About the 2026 Nissan Leaf

Given that the 2026 Nissan Leaf won’t hit the Nissan dealer showrooms for well over a year, it’s telling that people are already getting so excited.

What’s Getting People So Excited?

The first-generation Nissan Leaf could be accurately referred to as revolutionary. The automaker designed the affordable EV to be appealing to everyday drivers, and it paid off. By the end of 2023, the company sold over 670,000 models via its global Nissan dealer network.

The second-gen Nissan Leaf revealed in 2018 generated even more excitement. With better range, more power, and greater utility, it deserved the attention. So, what’s so exciting about the 2026 Nissan Leaf?

Remaining Competitive in a Quickly Evolving Market

While the second-gen Leaf was initially popular, the world of EVs changes quickly. There were still drivers heading to the Nissan dealer to buy the Leaf in 2023, but sales fell substantially as other brands began to release more affordable models targeting drivers on a budget.

Nissan is keeping up with and getting ahead of those changes with the 2026 Nissan Leaf.
So far, there are no official details about what to expect at the Nissan dealer when the 2026 Leaf goes into production. That doesn’t mean drivers need to be left completely in the dark.

Reportedly preparing for debut in mid-2025, the new Leaf is supposed to take its styling cues from the company’s 2021 Chill-Out concept car.

What’s Chill-Out About?

The 2021 Chill-Out concept car was an incredibly sleek-looking crossover. The concept car featured a broad grill, wing-shaped headlights, and a unique roofline with a simple arch. Along with the subtle sculpting, it made for a dramatic visual impact.

The 2026 Leaf is unlikely to look exactly like the Chill-Out concept. Most experts don’t think the rear clear panel with embedded tail lights will make the cut, for example. However, most design cues will likely carry over without much alteration.

What to Expect Under the Hood

Nissan hasn’t ‘released official powertrain details on its third-generation Leaf. However, some sources say it rides on the same CMF-EV platform as the Ariya electric crossover. If that’s the case, drivers can expect two electric motor options.

The current Ariya found at the local Nissan dealer comes with a single 214 or 238 hp motor or two motors capable of producing up to 389 hp. Buyers also have two battery choices that may or may not carry over to the 2026 Leaf.

While some future-thinking EV enthusiasts are crossing their fingers that the new Leaf will adopt Nissan’s cutting-edge solid-state battery technology, that’s very unlikely. The company has indicated that the first cars to feature solid-state batteries won’t hit the market until 2028.

Most experts feel it’s safe to assume that the 2026 Leaf will have more range than the current model, even if it doesn’t get solid-state batteries. The second-gen Leaf gets 215 miles per charge at its most efficient.

When Will Production Start?

Currently, drivers who want to get behind the wheel of the Leaf will still have to settle for the second-gen EV. They won’t have to wait too long to head to the Nissan dealer for an upgrade.

Available information suggests a debut date of mid-2025. Production should then kick off in 2026. The only downside is that Nissan plans to close its production plant in Smyrna, TN mid-2025, which means third-gen Leaf models won’t be eligible for the maximum federal tax credit.

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